LINGUIST List 5.401

Thu 07 Apr 1994

Sum: Employee classification, FRESA Spanish

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Employee classification - summary
  2. "Thor Sigurd Nilsen", Sum: FRESA Spanish

Message 1: Employee classification - summary

Date: Tue, 5 Apr 94 14:30:58 CDTEmployee classification - summary
From: <>
Subject: Employee classification - summary

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the following query:

 > Recent discussion of life in the lingusitics periphery has
 > re-ignited my curiosity to know how other self-perceived
 > linguists' employing institutions regard them. For example, I
 > know that there are many out there who consider themselves
 > (primarily) linguists, but whose job title would be Professor of
 > ESL, Professor of German, French, etc., or Speech Pathologist.
 > There may even be a few other engineers.

 > Just for my own curiosity, I'd like to know the range of
 > institutional designations of those whose primary
 > self-identification would be as a linguist. This might also be
 > of interest to linguists who want to know about job possibilities
 > in related fields.

Thanks to all who responded. The following is a highly edited summary
of the responses I received. I've included everything pertaining to
job descriptions, but haven't identified particular individuals or
institutions, since the purpose of the query was to get a broad idea
of the types of jobs and employers open to linguists.

In the interest of saving space, I've also not included personal
histories, the hopes of students who don't have a job as of yet, and
editorial comments (several along the lines of "This isn't what I
expected to be doing in grad school.") If you'd be interested in this
information, send me email, and I'll be glad to send a less edited
version of the summary, with everything I received except for a couple
of comments that people asked not to have made public.

If seeing this summary prompts a large number of additional responses
to the original query, I'll post an update later.

 Dale Russell


Positions at Universities:

Faculty member - Dept. of Communication Disorders (speech-language

Anthropological linguist, working in an oral history program. Mostly
I collect, edit, archive, and analyze life or event narratives. I
also teach a class now and then.

Research associate in the Child Language Program. I manage a large
computerized database of children's language samples, performing
statistical analyses on them, overseeing incoming samples from the
research lab I work in, and keeping track of the archives related to
the database. The Child Language Program is an interdisciplinary
doctoral program, drawing from linguistics, psychology, human
development, and speech-language-hearing. The focus in our lab is on
children with specific language impairment.

Professor of English, as are five other colleages who are "in"
linguistics or ESL or applied linguistics but who are also located in
the Department of English. We have faculty who are budgeted in the
Department of Linguist, and they are classified as "Professor of,
Associate Professor of...Linguistics," as you would expect. So, here
at least, people may be "in linguistics" academically and
professionally but they are "in" Linguistics, English, German,
Scandinavian Studies, etc. budgetarily.

Associate Professor of English and Linguistics - primary teaching
responsibility in ESL, in Dept. of Languages and Literatures

Professor of Psychology -- actually 'professeur titulaire en
psychologie' since I'm teaching at a French institution.

English teacher, secondary appointment in the psychology dept. In the
English department, where I do administrative work in the composition
program, I get to teach modern English grammar and "The study of
language" (an intro to an intro course). My institution doesn't have
a niche for a linguist (none of the logical departments for it think
they need it enough to devote a "line" to it, but there are people
with interest and training in linguistics in anthropology (1),
psychology (1 + 2 half-time appointments, one of them mine), education
(part- time) and others with interest and no training in medicine (1),
math (1 plus one retired) and business (artificial intelligence) (1).
It's real hard to get students, but we have a few psych students with
English minors, some education majors, and one interdisciplinary

Lecturer in language education -- teaching ESL and LOTE teaching
method, and topics for education students at diploma and masters level
plus a small amount of supervision of postgrads.

Lecturer in French -- My primary interests are linguistics and
phonetics and my employer classifies me as a lecturer in French. I
spend a lot - too much - of my time marking traditional French
language assignments.

Positions in Industry:

Software engineer. My business cards also say linguist, but since I'm
the only one here who is, I'm almost the only one who knows what that

Humanist/engineer. The engineering discipline is not, however,
linguistics; it's human-computer interaction. The linguistics
training remains a useful too. [sic]

Researcher -- working in Speech Recognition, and it's largely lx of
various sorts that I do here; a lot of simple phonology.

My current employer calls me a knowledge engineer. When I answer
things like alunni questionnaires, I say that I work in A.I., which is
a branch of C.S.
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Message 2: Sum: FRESA Spanish

Date: Wed, 6 Apr 94 11:29:27 CSTSum: FRESA Spanish
From: "Thor Sigurd Nilsen" <>
Subject: Sum: FRESA Spanish

First of all, I'd like to thank the following for their contributions: John
Beaven, R.M. Chandler-Burns, Ricardo Diaz, Mike Dickey, Benjamin Macias,
Rosa Graciela Montes, Scott Schwenter, and Roberto Strongman.

According to some of the answers I received, the term "fresa" seems to have
originated in the Zona Rosa in Mexico D.F. in the sixties. Even though the
same term is used today, it is not clear whether it means exactly the same.

Apparently, "fresa" as it is used today refers most of all to an attitude
and a life-style among certain Mexican youngsters, particularly those in
private schools and with rather conservative values. Thus it characterises
primarily young people, even though the term is not necessarily limited to
that age group. According to R.C. Montes the kids in "Beverly Hills 90120"
would be an American counterpart to "fresas". The term seems to be most
frequently used by outsiders, and is opposed to a more "macho" style. Very
often it is associated with young people from wealthy families, or who would
like to pass as sons and daughters of such parents.

Even though "fresa" is a life-style rather than a well-defined socio-
linguistic group, certain linguistic features seem to characterise it:

- numerous examples of anglicisms. According to Chandler-Burns these are
 often literal translations from English. An example he provides is "hacer
 el rol" (=go cruising in a car).

- assertive language. Chandler-Burns gives the example "hazte cuenta"
 (= imagine if you can).

- overusing certain expressions, e.g. "o sea" (= as it were).

- R.G. Montes mentions stereotypical features like a peculiar drawling and
 rising intonation; articulatory features like lip-rounding and
 nasalisation that lead to the categorisation "hablando con la papa en la
 boca" (= speaking with a potato in one's mouth).

- certain kinesic gestures.

Regards Thor
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